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Stock Russian Tubes Sound The Best? (Read 264 times)
P K
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Posts: 140
Stock Russian Tubes Sound The Best?
08/21/14 at 22:52:13
 
Sovtek (Russian) 12ax7's and a JJ (Russian) 12au7 provide more detail and better note decay than NOS Telefunken 12ax7's and a RCA Blackplate  Command Series 12au7 (5814A Premium industrial grade).

Who knew.

I am open to other suggestions.

I have tried the following in the 12ax7 slots;

NOS Mullard 10M Gold Pins

NOS Mullard 10M Standard Pins

NOS Mullard from Brent Jesse (12AX7 Mullard LONGPLATE, Square getter, 1950s date codes)

NOS Telefunken

In the ZP3, why do the inexpensive Russian tubes sound better than the NOS tubes?

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P K
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Posts: 140
Re: Stock Russian Tubes Sound The Best?
Reply #1 - 08/24/14 at 19:38:44
 
I have been tube rolling all of the 12au7 tubes from my tube stash.

Note: I am still using the two Sovtek 12ax7's (from Decware) in the ZP3.

The winner is a Mystery Tube (12au7A), it looks like a NOS RFT (East Germany). Great detail and great bass  (it is also smooth).

It is marked in bright RED 12AX7A/ECC82.

The next line is hard to read (see photo).

Made in E Germany?


The tubes are Grey Plate, Short Plate (or square), Smooth Plate.

Halo or circle getter with one support (from a large post, see photo)

A clear round circle on the glass bottom.

Inside the round circle is a V and a mirror image of "12" (under the V).



My second choice, but not close second, is the RCA Command 5814a


Peter
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« Last Edit: 08/25/14 at 00:24:10 by P K »  

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P K
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Posts: 140
Re: Stock Russian Tubes Sound The Best?
Reply #2 - 08/30/14 at 15:41:41
 

It seems the12au7 tubes that sound great in my Mini Torii and the 12ax7 tubes that sound great in my Aesthetix Calypso preamp do not sound very good in the ZP3 and the tubes that sound great in the ZP3 do not sound very good in the Mini Torii and the Calypso.

Isn't this hobby fun!!!

Peter
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P K
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Posts: 140
Re: Stock Russian Tubes Sound The Best?
Reply #3 - 09/01/14 at 12:26:55
 
I found a better 12au7.

Thanks to Brent Jessee.

It is smoother than the RFT 12au7 pictured above.

It is a 12au7 Mazda greyplate, 1960s, made in France

From Brent Jessee:

New old stock, original and white Box. Grey plates, very similar to the very rare Mazda silver plate tubes. These are also hard to find in the USA. Excellent, 1960s vintage long lived 12AU7 types with the distinct European vintage flavor that a modern tube just cannot capture! These have the sweetness and dynamic punch typical of Mazda


Try tube rolling the 12au7, it makes a big difference in the sound.

My result:

Higher resolution and detail

Bass punch (a big difference)

Livelier

and Smoooth.
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« Last Edit: 09/01/14 at 12:28:29 by P K »  
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